Last month, through six weeks of play, the NFL had a record breaking six undefeated teams vying to complete the first perfect regular season since the 2007 Patriots. A little more than a month later and we’re down to two teams, one of which was expected while the other has been a bit of a surprise. These expectations are reflected in the ticket prices for each teams’ final three home games.
Once Tom Brady’s four game suspension was overturned, many people expected the New England Patriots to come out with a chip (or chunk) on their shoulder, similar to how the team reacted in 2007 after the Spygate accusations came to fruition. The Patriots have been a model of consistency over the years, and fans of the team have become accustomed to all the winning.
For the Pats final three home games, ticket prices rise after every week. The average ticket price to see the Bills on 11/23 is going for $259 and when the Eagles come to town on December 6, that number jumps to $471. Interestingly enough, the average for the home finale against the lowly Titans is the highest, at $503. This suggests that fans are expecting the Pats to run through the remainder of the schedule and they want the chance to see history be made (again).
On the other side of the league, few thought the Carolina Panthers would be undefeated this late in the season, especially considering the pre-season loss of Kelvin Benjamin. With few weapons at his disposal, most fans were expecting a good, but not great year from Cam Newton and company. Similar to the the Patriots, the Panthers have three home games remaining on the schedule, but the prices for those oppose that of their undefeated AFC counterpart. It could be the buzz around the team, or a sense that the run must come to an end at some point, but the tickets for the Panthers home games get cheaper the closer we get to the playoffs.
For their next home game, against the Redskins, tickets are going for an average of $353. Surprisingly, for their final two home games against division rivals, the Falcons and Bucs, tickets are going for an average of $289 and $196, respectively. Unlike the Patriots fans, Panthers faithful seem to be taking a week by week approaching to scooping up tickets, waiting to see if they can keep the undefeated streak alive.
Ultimately, probability tells us that it is unlikely that both (or even one) teams will finish the regular season undefeated, and it will be interesting to see how ticket prices go up or down depending on the results over the next two months.